Working out and exercising is one of the best ways to keep your body and mind young and healthy. However, anytime you’re engaging in physical activity, there’s also an inherent risk of injury. Something as simple as walking the dog can result in a twisted ankle if you step in a pot hole, trip over the leash, or lose your footing.
Consistency is key to making progress in fitness, and you can’t consistently workout if you’re continuously injuring yourself. We’re want to help you stay as safe and healthy as possible while in the gym. Keep reading for four common workout injuries and how to avoid them.
1. Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain is perhaps one of the most common workout injuries in weightlifters. This issue encompasses everything from minor muscle strain and soreness to bulging disks. Luckily, there are ways to avoid these issues.
First, make sure you’re using the correct lifting technique, particularly when performing compound movements like squats and deadlifts. Some muscle soreness is to be expected after working legs and core. However, you must learn to differentiate between muscle soreness and injury.
Just as importantly, know when to back off and allow your body to rest. If you’re feeling a tweak in your back, lift light for as long as it takes. Recovering from injuries is vital for preventing bigger, more serious injuries.
2. Knee Pain
Knee pain from squatting and running are also common workout injuries. Generally speaking, it comes down to your technique.
If you’re experiencing knee pain from running, start putting in less mileage until the knee pain goes away. Additionally, consider shortening your stride, which will put less stress on your knees. The problem could also stem from how hard your feet are impacting the ground.
Knee pain from squatting can be remediated by using the correct lifting technique. Make sure your knees stay directly above your heels throughout the squat. If your knees are over your toes, its’ forcing them to bear too much of the load, rather than your quads, glutes, and hamstrings.
3. Shoulder Pain
If you’re experiencing shoulder pain in your weekly workout schedule following chest day, it’s likely that you’re bench press technique needs to be adjusted.
You’re probably allowing your elbows to flare out too wide, which is putting excess stress on your shoulders. Furthermore, you’re limiting your strength and potential muscle gains in your chest.
Make sure your elbows are not aligned with your shoulders while benching with the bar or dumbells. Adjust your elbows so the bar is coming down directly on top of your nipples. If the bar is coming down near your clavicle or neck, you’re doing it wrong.
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4. Blunt-Force Trauma
Fortunately, some of the most common workout injuries that occur in the gym can be avoided with some simple environmental awareness. Thousand of people a year experience serious blunt-force injuries in the gym by:
- Smashing their fingers between plates and dumbbells
- Dropping weights on their toes and feet
- Banging their head into mounted bars and other gym equipment
While in the gym, you can avoid these injuries by slowing down and paying attention to what you’re doing. For example, if you and your workout buddy are unloading a bar, make sure you’re doing it evenly. If the bar becomes off-balanced, it will tilt, resulting in one of two things:
- The other plate will slide off and smash into the ground (or someone’s foot)
- The bar will launch itself off the rack, clobbering anyone in its path
Implement common sense and environmental awareness and you should be just fine.
Are You Doing Your Best to Avoid Common Workout Injuries?
While we can’t always control our environment or other people, it’s not altogether difficult to avoid the common workout injuries listed in this article. If you’re starting to experience pain while working out, take a step back, do some research, and consider using a personal trainer. Don’t try to lift through the pain, as it will likely result in further injuries.
And if you’re looking for more great workout tips and health advice, check out some of the other articles in our blog. We have fantastic content created for readers just like you.